Having taken a year off from conference speaking, travel and session blogging, it was surprisingly easy to get back into the groove. Traditionally, SES New York is the more fast paced of their yearly conference events. Maybe it’s those Times Square vibes.
This year I blogged sessions for Libeck Integrated Marketing after having joined the company officially in January of this year as their SEO/UX Manager. Since most people know me as the founder of Cre8pc and Cre8asiteforums, part of the trip was about explaining this change. (And adding that I’m still keeping the forums and working for my Cre8pc partners.)
Four of us from Libeck came to NY to speak, blog, work and network. I was not to learn I would be speaking until the afternoon of Tuesday, when they needed a replacement for Shari Thurow in an Eye Tracking session. I arrived two days after my co-workers. The first thing I went to was Li Evan’s packed workshop, “Quick Social Media Wins”, in the Exhibit Hall. She managed to hold onto their attention with all the noise from folks walking behind them and they even went overtime. (I know this because our little group left for lunch without her!)
If you’ve never been to Search Engine Strategies conferences, the Exhibition Hall is not unlike walking through a street market with people singing, “Who will buy my sweet red roses…Two blooms for a penny…” Wait. That was the movie, Oliver. At SES, you can get “swag” (t-shirts, pens, Google earpieces) and talk business with company representatives.
The following are some gems from my notes:
- We can send a robot to circle Mercury, but still cannot get fast Internet connections at the Hilton.
- Why, why, why do I always forget to bring a spare laptop battery, 3 extra cell phones, and my very own surge protector with lots of outlets on it for the speaker and press room?
- Do not New York taxi drivers use GPS?
Adam Audette loves his logs. Log file analysis can show various data (trust me, he showed a nice picture on this). He recommended Sawmill software. It has filters/macros/tracks Google bots and Splunk, which installs locally and offers gigs of data and shows 301′s, 302s. He recommends the page and parameter reports and to get monthly details.
- Logfilt -This Free tool by Audettemedia is a command line tool for Unix. It can show all the URLs search bots fetched and URLs that you may not want crawled (and didn’t know were being crawled). It’s a free tool.
- Adam also suggested Wget, and Xenu’s Link Sleuth
- Uber-smart, Jaimie Sirovich, spoke about faceted search and SEO and some of the issues arising that are causing concern such as duplicate content, superfluous content, spider traps and slow sites.
To be honest, I can’t do justice to his understanding and awareness of facets and information architecture. (I suggested he write another book.) “Bot’s don’t like dupe content,” he said. More fascinating is, “Bot’s don’t have intent. You have to help them along.” Robots are fast and methodical but can miss great content, so you have to help them along. He even mentioned “robot scent” and “humanizing search.” Keep an eye out for this guy.
- Brett Tabke became aware in May 2010 that something was very wrong with WMW forums. He wondered if the end was near when page views decreased by nearly 50%. His talk was a true story tale of how WMW did months of detective work and discovered rank was great and only some minor fixes were needed, none of which could be causing low traffic. They did install a new in-site search engine and this, it turned out, was mucking up page view traffic data. Google noticed the decrease in traffic (and we don’t want to be sending Google messages like this.) They returned to their original simple search and everything in the Kingdom was at peace once more.
- When I grow up I want to be speak like Tim Ash and Bryan Eisenberg (and Brett Tabke is also in the running.)
- Tim had us repeat this sentence several times – “My baby is ugly”. We’re talking web sites, of course.
- Bryan and Tim both offered so many tools and resources it felt like Christmas. They also raffled off their books to the audience. Very cool.
- Speaking of books, Matt Bailey’s books arrived and sheesh, it’s a big fat book! Internet Marketing: An Hour a Day is on bookshelves now.
- Ever hear of “Evergreen Content”? Greg Jarboe suggests monitoring “evergreen content” to see what people are interested in.
- Apparently, there was possibly just one all-women panel? Really?
- I was disappointed in the Black Hat/White Hat party. For starters, I wanted a sleek Thoroughbred horse to go with my pretty hat. And there were no fights. What has happened to our industry?
And finally, yes it’s true. Some of us did call up somebody and sang, “The wheels on the bounce go round and round, round and round…” into their cell phone, but by that time, we were safely out of the city and on to a fundraiser in Philadelphia.